1st Session, 42nd Parliament,
Volume 150, Issue 48

Monday, June 13, 2016
The Honourable George J. Furey, Speaker

Brain Injury Awareness Month

Hon. Mobina S. B. Jaffer: Honourable senators, I rise today to speak on Brain Injury Awareness Month, about the devastating consequences of brain injury. Brain injury is devastating not only to the survivors but also to family members, caregivers, support workers and volunteers.

Bill Hicks felt as if he had accomplished his most cherished dream at the age of 23. Bill had a keen sense of rhythm. He loved nothing more than drumming. Bill was a full member of Vancouver’s Powder Blues Band, a Juno Award-winning act. His album sales were in the hundreds of thousands. He had gigs galore. Then one day a phone call from home at an odd hour changed his life forever. His mother, her voice crackling, told Bill that his 16-year-old brother Kevin had been in a serious car crash.

Bill sat at Kevin’s bedside day after day while Kevin lay in a coma in a Victoria hospital in British Columbia. Bill would talk to Kevin and gently place headphones over his brother’s ears so that he could hear their favourite rock hits. Honourable senators, Kevin and his whole family’s lives changed forever.

We support many Canadians suffering with brain injury. It is our responsibility to protect these people. Emergency care following a car crash or an aneurysm is often outstanding, but what happens in the years that follow is too often a slow journey into despair, poverty and hopelessness.

Honourable senators, I invite you to recognize those suffering from brain injuries. It is an issue we cannot ignore. Today I ask you to remember the people who are suffering from brain injuries and also their families as we raise awareness of brain injury in this Brain Injury Awareness Month. Thank you.